recipe – quinoa chicken spinach tasties

I love being in the kitchen. I love cooking. And with this new stomach of mine, I’m having to be creative to make foods that are tasty, and packed with protein. I also have the added challenge of making things I can eat on the go (a big no-no, but a reality of my life, job and place of residence. I mean, really. If you had to be at a meeting at 6:30am, and it took you 45 minutes to get there, and you had to eat breakfast, slowly, over a 30 minute period, are you going to wake up 30 extra minutes early, or are you going to eat breakfast slowly during your 45 minute drive to that early meeting? Exactly.)

I found the original great recipe at The World According to Eggface, but modified it to include some extra tastiness. I’ve made it twice now, and loved it both times. Ultimately you can make this recipe your own. Use pork instead of chicken. Use more cheese and make it vegetarian. Use broccoli instead of spinach. Or kale!

If you modify it, leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out. I’ll be making these every week for the next months and years. I’m certain.

Quinoa Chicken Spinach Tasties – makes 12 cupcake sized quiche like things

Ingredients:
8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded (I used leftovers from a roast crock-potted chicken)

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1 cup cooked multi-color quinoa
6 eggs
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (or any delicious cheese you’d like. Make sure it melts good!)

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half a bag of frozen spinach (8 ounces-ish), thawed and cooked a bit

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. If the chicken or spinach is warm, let it cool a bit, so you don’t cook/scramble the eggs before their time. I call this the “raw goop” stage.

3. Get a cupcake pan, or a mini-cupcake pan. Make a choice: use cupcake liners or not.
3a. No liners- Oil the crap out of the cupcake pan. I use an olive oil spray (homemade). I hear coconut oil works well too. Don’t do this too early. Grease the cups *right before* you fill them with the raw goop.
3b. Liners- Place the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan. I used metal ones, but then had to remove them when I went to microwave the individual bites. I chose not to use them the second time. If someone uses paper liners, let me know how those work for you.

4. Divide the raw goop into the cupcake pan. I started with about a 1/4 cup into each cup. Whatever was left I used to top off the cups that looked a little low. Made 12 perfectly!

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5. Place the raw tasties in the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Since ovens vary, and have hot and cold spots, start checking at 20 minutes. They are done when they look like this:

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6. Let the tasties cool for at least an hour. (I left them for 4 hours, but I had to run to a meeting!). Run a nice sharp thin knife around the edges of the tasties. Or, if you’re lucky and you greased well, flip the pan over and watch the tasties fall out.

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7. Make a choice: store or eat right away!

7a. To store, place in a tupperware or a freezer bag and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep them in the fridge for about 2 weeks. (I only eat one a day. So 12 days). If you’re going to freeze them, why not freeze them in individual snack size bags, to make it easier to defrost and reheat?

7b. Eat them all right away! I imagine these would make a delicious addition to a brunch spread, or appetizers at a party. Or, for regular eating folks, 2 of them and a green salad would make a great lunch or dinner.

 

I’m purposely not including nutritional information for this recipe, because it can differ so much depending on your ingredients. If you want a great app that can help you figure out the nutritional values for your favorite homemade recipes, and track your food, try My Fitness Pal. It’s free. And if you’re not a smartphone user, the website is amazing.

 

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257 pounds

I am a third of the way done.

Here’s the timeline

 

January 1, 2013 – 307 pounds (the biggest I’ve ever been)

April 30, 2013 – 292 pounds (I know because it’s my birthday, and I was in Paris, and I was so proud I had lost 15 pounds)

August 26, 2013 – 290 pounds (my surgery date)

October 7, 2013 – 257 pounds

 

It’s a lot, and pretty fast. And my surgeon even mentioned that I was going a little fast. So I’m trying to eat a little more. But couple that with the new addition of running, and I don’t think I’ll be able to slow down!
So I’ve set myself a very attainable and crazy goal.

 

75 pounds in 200 days.

I’ll start the counting on October 7, 2013, which makes my end date April 25, 2014. (Just in time for my birthday!)

 

What do you want to challenge yourself with for the next 200 days? Maybe it’s only 20 pounds, maybe it’s to stop drinking soda, or to eat more veggies. Maybe ti’s doing more yoga, or running. Maybe it’s giving up smoking, or alcohol.

Whatever it is, post it here, and in 200 days we’ll assess where we are. Maybe you’ll find a buddy who can help you through it!

 

For the record, 75 pounds in 200 days isn’t awful. It’s about 2.6 pounds a week. Which, for someone like me (who’s had surgery and is on a super crazy diet), isn’t terribly unhealthy. But, I’m also being supervised every step of the way by 2 nutritionists, a surgeon and a doctor.

If weight loss is your goal, please PLEASE consult a nutritionist, health coach, doctor or homeopath and make sure that your goal is healthy and sustainable. I know good people that fit any and all of these categories, and I’d be happy to introduce you.

 

So what’s your 200 day challenge?

walking and running

I used to run. I lived in a lovely neighborhood in a quiet suburb, and I would run walk through the forest on this paved path. I had a 2 mile circuit. It was wonderful. I was finishing grad school, applying for jobs, dating and breaking up with a loser. The run/walk time was precious. I listened to great music and really got a good sweat up. The world seemed nicer.

Then I had a car accident that totaled my car and my neck and may back. I couldn’t walk without pain for many months. And by then, I had met V. And instead of running after work, I was driving to his house to have make out sessions over calculus (Don’t judge. Math is hot).

And maybe, in some way, I was starting to break down. I was beginning to get weak. What good was being healthy and thinner? V loved me in all my curvy-ness. He didn’t care if I was fat or thin. So exercising became less of a priority.

Fast forward 7 years. I’ve dropped 50 pounds. I’m smaller than I’ve ever been. And on a recent walk I had the very distinct urge to run as far as I could. So I did. It wasn’t very far, and I thought I was going to die when I finally stopped. But I did it.

It felt amazing. I was free again. The world, despite all of its nastiness, seemed nicer. My neighborhood has grown accustomed to seeing me walk every day (sometimes twice a day). Now that they see me running and walking, it’s like they are cheering me on (I have the same circuit every time, either flat and long, or down and up a hill (and long)). I get waved at. Neighbors have started saying hello (the ones I see every day).

And yesterday, when I went out for a run and it was pouring rain (literally, pouring rain), I got more than one person honking, as if to say “You go girl! Not even the rain can stop you!”

I’m using an awesome app on my iPhone to track my run/walks, in conjunction with a fitbit pedometer. In the app there is an 8 week 5K training program.

I started it. It’s a good mix of walking and running, aimed at getting you to run an entire 5K, at the end of the 8 weeks. Even if I’m still walk/running at the end of the 8 weeks, I’ll be better off than when I started.

What is it that you love, that you let go of?

What can you start doing to make yourself feel better about the world?

What’s holding you back from it?

Anyone can start from anywhere. I’m proof of that. Just 7 short weeks ago I was barely able to finish a 10 minute walk.

What can you do today to change your life for tomorrow?